GUNTUR: Stung by the farmers' protests demanding return of the consent forms, the Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA) got into a fire-fighting mode by hurriedly releasing the lease amount to the supporters of Land Pooling Scheme (LPS).
The process of lease amount disbursement began on Monday at Nelapadu village of Tulluru mandal in the capital city area. The CRDA released Rs 33 lakh for disbursement to about 50 farmers, who gave their consent for 113 acres.
Soon after disbursing the compensation cheques to the farmers, senior officials formally launched the land levelling works in the capital city area. CRDA commissioner N Srikanth, Guntur district collector Kantilal Dande and joint collector Cherukuri Sridhar started the land levelling work at Nelapadu village, marking the beginning of capital city development. The CRDA had pooled up about 1,300 acres from about 660 farmers in the village.
Although, the process of verification of documents and land survey has not been completed yet, the CRDA decided to release the amount only to keep the protests under check. "There is extreme pressure from the government to clear the files pertaining to grant of compensation even before the process of verification of documents is over. We are forced to act under pressure, but grant of lease amount before ascertaining the validity of the documents is in violation of rules," admitted a senior official on the condition of anonymity.
As per the procedure, CRDA had to issue a public notification calling for objections with regard to land ownership of the farmers who gave up their land. The ownership of a particular farmer on a certain extent of land can be ascertained only when there are no objections received from anyone until the completion of the land survey.
However, without going into the facts and ground realities, the senior officials of CRDA are reportedly putting pressure on the field officials to push through the grant of lease. The government announced the annual lease compensation of Rs 30,000 per acre for upland areas and Rs 50,000 per acre for riverbank villages. Nelapadu in Tullur mandal is a TDP stronghold where most of the farmers voluntarily gave up their land.